Court affirms judgment against home contractor

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A home repair contractor lost an appeal of an award against him, but he won’t have to pay the attorney fees of the party that won the judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Ramon and Stacey Halum sued Michael Thalheimer over carpet and tile installation in Marion Superior Court after the Halums were unsatisfied with the work. The court awarded $14,262.38 – the amount they paid to have the work gutted and redone by another contractor, and Thalheimer appealed.

The Halums contended that because the appeal was in bad faith, they should be awarded appellate attorney fees.

“We affirm upon concluding that Thalheimer waived his claim that the Halums spoliated evidence; the economic loss doctrine did not preclude the Halums’s negligence claim; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Thalheimer’s conduct negated the warranty in the contract; and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Thalheimer’s work was of poor quality. We deny the Halums’s request for appellate attorney fees,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in a unanimous ruling.


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